and so we stumble upon another thing i love - film.
movies, good movies, are the perfect glimpse at experiences, lessons and novelties in pure observational form. movies are like watching other peoples’ lives behind a 2-way mirror. i am able to see emotion on the actors’ faces, read their body language, and incorporate yet one more lens to the many in which i see my world through.
today i watched a movie called - The Names of Love (Le nom des gens). it is a french film made in 2010, written and directed by Michel Leclerc.
**if you are actually going to WATCH this movie because i recommended it, well then, watch it, and THEN come read the rest of this post, i don’t want anyone blaming me for ruining the movie for them**
now, where was i. ah yes, so the movie is about a half-arab half-french girl named Baya. her father was an arab who witnessed french soldiers kill his family members in Algeria and happened to marry a human-rights-activist-hippy-french girl. Baya was unfortunately molested as a child by her piano teacher and ends up becoming a prostitute of sorts who sleeps with right-wing men to convert them to her left-wing beliefs (which she feels strongly about mainly due to her hippy mothers influence). She meets this forty-something year old man named Arthur, who is not a right-wing (so no need to sleep with him for political reasons) but she happens to fall in love with him after a series of events. Arthur has his own story, he is a veterinarian who specializes in dead animals and the spread of disease. his mother, a jew, was saved by an orphanage in france when her parents were sent to Auschwitz, which makes Arthur half jewish and half french. he however, does not identify with being jewish and is frankly all around uptight.
but he meets Baya and she changes his world, she breathes excitement into his life, shows him how to experience passion and enjoy life. she has an affinity towards animals and forces Arthur at one point to buy 7 crabs at the market, take them to the beach and set them free.
the most beautiful moment in the movie is regarding Baya’s father. he is a handy man but his passion is in art. he is too humble however to believe he is deserving of doing art all day, he never pursues his passion and is utterly more caring about everyone else other than himself. when Arthur realizes he loves Baya he makes up a story and tells her father that all the paintings in his office were stolen and if he could paint 30 new ones for him. Baya comes home to her father painting these beautiful paintings and looking so happy and so she realizes she loves him (girls, this is when the water works come out).
i suppose the reason i liked this movie is because i love the idea that Baya is so absolutely bizarre in her actions and the way she lives her life, when it comes to her personal ‘resume’, per say, she doesn’t look like the best catch in the sea. but she is beautiful in all that she does, despite what she as been through. and a man so completely different from her is able to see her beauty and find a common ground. it’s pretty amazing if you think about it.